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Pizzaguys - The definitive "Making pizza at home" thread (1 Viewer)

Wingnut

** Inactive **
I recently started getting into making my own pizza at home on my Akorn kamado grill, and I know in the grilling thread there are a few guys who also dabble. Since not everyone uses a grill to cook pizza, and some pizzaguys here might not know theres been some pizza discussion in that thread, I figured Id start a dedicated thread to discuss dough, cooking method/temps, recipes, etc...

Im still brand new to  making pizza at home, but my first attempt last week went pretty well. I decided to enter the pizza world by learning neapolitan dough first since its my favorite and seemed fairly easy when I started researching. After watching probably 50 different neapolitan dough making videos on Youtube, I settled on this one for its simplicity and the fact that its cold fermented, which I like...also, the guy making the video explains everything nice and slow, so its super easy to follow...just mix/knead (I use a Kitchen Aid mixer), put into the fridge for 1-3 days, then portion, ball, and stretch. It doesnt get much simpler than that. And it turned out great. When my girlfriend tried it, she said "Guess we dont need to go out for pizza anymore". Thats about as good of a compliment as I can think of, especially for my first time.

Neapolitan dough video (recipe listed below video in link)

I also made my own pizza sauce, which was also simple and better than anything youll find in a can or jar. Simple recipe:

14oz can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Clove or 2 of garlic, minced and sauteed for 1-2 minutes
few pinches of dried oregano
2-3 leaves fresh basil chopped (or few pinches dried)

Combine all ingredients and pulse in food processor until desired consistency. Done. Really bright, fresh flavor, and no sugar. Sugar doesnt belong in pizza sauce.

I made a couple of mistakes my first time but overall the pizza was great. I cooked the first one on pizza stone what registered 760 degrees and my grill was 600+ degrees and it was done in less than 3 minutes. On the second pie, I let the heat drop on my grill (accidental) and didnt have enough charcoal to get the stone or grill temp back up, so the stone was only about 570 degrees, and the grill was 450ish. It took longer to cook and wasnt quite as good as the first, but it was still delicious as as good if not better than any pizza place around.

First pie

Crust

Second pie

This week Im experimenting with freezing dough. I made the above recipe, let it ferment for 48 hours, portioned and froze it. Im gonna make pizza this weekend and see how it turns out. I wanna try to master Neapolitan style dough before I branch out to other types of crust, so I'm just focusing on that for the time being.

Feel free to add any tips, tricks, pics, etc of any style of pizza. 

LETS EAT!

 
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Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Great thread idea!  I'll second the tomato sauce (especially no sugar!) and pass along my variation. 

1 28 oz can of San Marzano whole Tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, sliced thin, Goodfellas style

2 sprigs Basil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Oregano to Taste

Salt and Pepper to Taste

In large nonstick skillet heat olive oil and add garlic slices. Cook until fragrant but not brown, just a minute or two.  Add can of tomatoes. Rinse can about halfway with water and add.  Crush tomatoes in pan with wooden spoon or non-metallic masher and add whole sprigs of basil, crushed red pepper, oregano, and S&P to taste. Slowly simmer and reduce down until desired thickness achieved. Remove basil.

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
@Ron Swanson I forgot garlic in my sauce recipe, I just edited it.

When I was looking around at different sauce recipes, I found several sites that say pizza sauce shouldn't be cooked before it hits the dough, so I went with a no-cook sauce. Im not really sure the reasoning behind it, but it turned out really good so I  figure I'll skip the extra step. I did add some tomato paste to the sauce before I made my second pizza, just to see the difference, and I think I liked it better than without, so I may keep adding it going forward. It added a bit more intensity to the sauce without making it too "saucy" if that makes sense.

 
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Ron Swanson

Footballguy
@Wingnut Mine is technically a marinara but I have found it works really well on Neapolitan style pizza.  I think cooking it adds a little natural sweetness without the oversugary taste. Pretty sure anything simple using San Marzano's is going to be great though compared to the sugary crap we've been fed for years.

 

Hawks64

Footballguy
I find that depending on the three pizza types I cook I prefer different styles of sauce.

Neapolitan, for me, should be a very simple sauce. Tomato, little basil and that's about it. Nice and tangy and bright. Applied very thin.

Chicago/Sicilian is a much heavier sauce with more flavor, more marinara like. Robust, with more spice as it gets applied much heavier. Sicilian should have a much spicier note.

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
I posted this in another thread here somewhere but I have had great success with this pizza oven that sits atop my Napoleon NG grill.  Easily hits an even and consistent 700-800 degrees with the grill burners on 3/4. The turning tool is awesome.

https://shop-usa.bakerstonebox.com/Pizza-Oven-Boxes/Original-Series-Pizza-Oven-Box-Kit.html
Thats pretty cool. I've been looking at the Ooni pizza ovens...Im not sure I wanna keep subjecting my non ceramic Akorn to the high temps needed for pizza, plus it takes about an hour to get the stone up to temp. I know @Hawks64 has one and loves it. If the price on the 16 inch model comes down I might have to jump. 

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
I find that depending on the three pizza types I cook I prefer different styles of sauce.

Neapolitan, for me, should be a very simple sauce. Tomato, little basil and that's about it. Nice and tangy and bright. Applied very thin.

Chicago/Sicilian is a much heavier sauce with more flavor, more marinara like. Robust, with more spice as it gets applied much heavier. Sicilian should have a much spicier note.
Great point. Different styles call for different sauces. I didnt even think of that.

 

Hawks64

Footballguy
Thats pretty cool. I've been looking at the Ooni pizza ovens...Im not sure I wanna keep subjecting my non ceramic Akorn to the high temps needed for pizza, plus it takes about an hour to get the stone up to temp. I know @Hawks64 has one and loves it. If the price on the 16 inch model comes down I might have to jump. 
They have a new one coming out that replaces the 3 I have. I love it, gets up to temp in about 15 minutes and ~60 seconds per Neapolitan. I use two hardwood (Acacia Wood) peels to build on for throwing and have a 24" long turner (makes a huge difference) and a peel for removing.

 

jwb

Footballguy
Great idea for a thread.

I've made pizza on my egg with store-bought dough, and it was "ok", but obviously homemade. I've thought about my own dough, then forgot about it. I will try that recipe in the OP.

 

Galileo

Footballguy
Great thread idea!  I'll second the tomato sauce (especially no sugar!) and pass along my variation. 

1 28 oz can of San Marzano whole Tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, sliced thin, Goodfellas style

2 sprigs Basil

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Oregano to Taste

Salt and Pepper to Taste

In large nonstick skillet heat olive oil and add garlic slices. Cook until fragrant but not brown, just a minute or two.  Add can of tomatoes. Rinse can about halfway with water and add.  Crush tomatoes in pan with wooden spoon or non-metallic masher and add whole sprigs of basil, crushed red pepper, oregano, and S&P to taste. Slowly simmer and reduce down until desired thickness achieved. Remove basil.
Why remove the basil?  I assume by “sprig” you are tossing in the stems.  Is that why you are removing them?  I would think chopping up some fresh basil leaves and keeping them in the sauce would be a good thing.   :shrug:

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
Great idea for a thread.

I've made pizza on my egg with store-bought dough, and it was "ok", but obviously homemade. I've thought about my own dough, then forgot about it. I will try that recipe in the OP.
I did the same thing recently with store bought dough...It was before I got my stone so I cooked it in the oven...it was OK at best.

Try that recipe and I bet you'll never buy store bought again. For neapolitan dough, you really need 00 flour. I ordered this flour from Amazon..its a bit pricey, but 100% worth it IMO.

 
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Reactions: jwb

Wingnut

** Inactive **
Good info here: How to stretch pizza dough 

Here's a tip for those using pizza stones:

Use parchment paper. Make your pie directly on the paper and on your peel. It will slide right off the peel onto your stone, then after about a minute when the dough sets, you can pull it right out from under the pizza.

I found this is a great way to avoid using flour or corn meal to keep the dough from sticking, and it keeps the pizza shape perfectly. I had a 14 inch pie stick to my peel a bit and it turned out egg shaped,  and I had to redistribute the toppings once the pie was on the stone, which also made my grill temp drop due to the lid being open longer than it needed to be. No bueno.

 
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Hawks64

Footballguy
Good info here: How to stretch pizza dough 

Here's a tip for those using pizza stones:

Use parchment paper. Make your pie ditectly on the paper and on your peel. It will slide right off the peel onto your stone, then after about a minute when the dough sets, you can pull it right out from under the pizza.

I found this is a great way to avoid using flour or corn meal to keep the dough from sticking,, and it keeps the pizza shape perfectly. I had a 14 inch pie stick to my peel a bit and it turned out egg shaped,  and I had to redistribute the toppings once the pie was on the stone, which also made my grill temp drop due to the lid being open longer than it needed to be. No bueno.
If you're going to use the Ooni you're going to have to figure out how to stretch dough with proper flouring so it slides off the peel. The paper will catch fire in a wood fire pizza oven. I would recommend a good wooden peel and you assemble on the peel.

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
If you're going to use the Ooni you're going to have to figure out how to stretch dough with proper flouring so it slides off the peel. The paper will catch fire in a wood fire pizza oven. I would recommend a good wooden peel and you assemble on the peel.
Yeah, I'll get better at it with practice...the parchment paper trick is great for pizza stones that cook over indirect heat...I prob wouldn't do it close to open flames.

 
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RUSF18

Footballguy
Not sure if this applies to other parts of the country but around here, many pizza places will sell you their own dough. 

Something to consider if not wanting to start from scratch but wanting much better than what you can buy in a store. I've done this just for making half assed pies in my oven, no stone or anything, and it was still great. 

 

Jaysus

Good times!
Not sure if this applies to other parts of the country but around here, many pizza places will sell you their own dough. 

Something to consider if not wanting to start from scratch but wanting much better than what you can buy in a store. I've done this just for making half assed pies in my oven, no stone or anything, and it was still great. 
That's what I do for spur of the moment pizza nights.... which with my kids is, like, 95% of the time.

 

I-ROK

Footballguy
Anyone here have a wood fired pizza oven? Been thinking of getting one, but they are expensive (forno or ooni)

 

SFBayDuck

Footballguy
Nice, following.  I started making sourdough pizza during lockdown, seemed a shame to throw out all of that starter weekly when I baked a loaf of sourdough.  They've been ok, but nothing near where I'd like them to be.  So I've been meaning to just make some "regular" pizza dough and go that route.

Unfortunately I'm stuck with the oven and a pizza stone, only have a Traeger and a regular propane grill outside.  But the oven does get up to 550, and I preheat it for awhile.

Good info here: How to stretch pizza dough 

Here's a tip for those using pizza stones:

Use parchment paper. Make your pie directly on the paper and on your peel. It will slide right off the peel onto your stone, then after about a minute when the dough sets, you can pull it right out from under the pizza.

I found this is a great way to avoid using flour or corn meal to keep the dough from sticking, and it keeps the pizza shape perfectly. I had a 14 inch pie stick to my peel a bit and it turned out egg shaped,  and I had to redistribute the toppings once the pie was on the stone, which also made my grill temp drop due to the lid being open longer than it needed to be. No bueno.
Thanks for the link, I think it's the dough I've been making but I just can't get it to shape well.  And the parchment paper trick has totally saved me after a pizza got stuck to the peel and basically ended up in a pile on the stone during one early attempt.

 

Brony

Footballguy
I posted this in another thread here somewhere but I have had great success with this pizza oven that sits atop my Napoleon NG grill.  Easily hits an even and consistent 700-800 degrees with the grill burners on 3/4. The turning tool is awesome.

https://shop-usa.bakerstonebox.com/Pizza-Oven-Boxes/Original-Series-Pizza-Oven-Box-Kit.html
It was discussed in the other thread that the key to good pizza dough is high temperatures.  But, you need high temperatures both where the dough contacts the surface (ie. hot pizza stone) as well as the air space above the pizza to evenly cook it.  The pizza oven box above accomplishes this if you are on the grill. 

If you are using your oven, put your pizza stone in the oven first.  Then get oven up to 500F for 20+ minutes to get the stone really hot.  Then just as you put the pizza into the oven, turn on broiler to get top of pizza hot.  Turn off broiler after a minute or two to avoid scorching it.  

 

Drunken knight

Footballguy
Used to make 4-5 sauces. Now two. 
 

one is a “brighter” sauce with only San Marzanos (crush by hand), evoo, minced garlic. I finish my sauces with torn basil.  Fresher flavor for me than cooking it in the sauce.

the other I will used diced onion, carrots, garlic... i fortify with either white or red wine. Reduce to au sec. then add the tomatoes and water. Simmer for about 45-1hr.  Blend with hand mixer , then simmer for another 30 min 

edit: sometimes use honey or sugar 

used to make a standard dough and one for deep dish.  These days Trader Joe’s.

will use a stone or my grill, or both

 
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Hawks64

Footballguy
Anyone here have a wood fired pizza oven? Been thinking of getting one, but they are expensive (forno or ooni)
I have the Ooni 3. The only complaint is only 12" pies. Other than that I love it. Gets hot AF, uses wood pellets and cooks in 60 seconds.

 

sho nuff

Footballguy
Haven't tried it on the Kamado yet...and when at home have not ventured into making my own dough yet (have gotten fresh dough either from Publix Grocery Store or a local pizza joint).  Sauce recipe are pretty similar to what I see here too.

Next purchase is a stone built for the high heat of the grill.  Im afraid the one we use in the oven here won't do well at 700ish degrees on the Kamado Joe.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Unfortunately I'm stuck with the oven and a pizza stone, only have a Traeger and a regular propane grill outside.  But the oven does get up to 550, and I preheat it for awhile.
I followed the blog of a guy years ago who struggled to make pizza in his apartment because he couldn't get the oven hot enough. IIRC he rigged up a way to put the oven in self cleaning mode...probably not too safe...but...

 

Hawks64

Footballguy
I've read about success using the oven at highest with a baking steel, once at temp turn on the broiler on high. Also, using two stones is another way. Steel on the bottom and then stone on the rack above it.

ETA it was actually Kenji over at Serious Eats. Link

 
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the moops

Footballguy
I am disappointed in my baking steel pizza. I wish my oven got hotter. It only gets up to 500 degrees. I pretty much always just grill my pies now. Trader Joes dough, grill one side for a coupel minutes, flip over and toss on homemade sauce, fresh mozarella, basil, sea salt, drizzle of oil.

 

E-Z Glider

Footballguy
No stone for me. When I make homemade pizza, I throw it directly on the oiled grates of my Weber Kettle. It's extremely difficult to get the perfect temperature, the perfect dough, and the perfect slide off the peel. And I'll be the first to admit, Ive screwed up more than Ive made well, but when you hit it exactly right and all 3 things come together just perfectly, it is truly pizza Nirvana. Crispy, chewy, smokey, cheesy, delicious.

 

Drunken knight

Footballguy
No stone for me. When I make homemade pizza, I throw it directly on the oiled grates of my Weber Kettle. It's extremely difficult to get the perfect temperature, the perfect dough, and the perfect slide off the peel. And I'll be the first to admit, Ive screwed up more than Ive made well, but when you hit it exactly right and all 3 things come together just perfectly, it is truly pizza Nirvana. Crispy, chewy, smokey, cheesy, delicious.
So sometimes it's not such an easy glider?

 
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the moops

Footballguy
No stone for me. When I make homemade pizza, I throw it directly on the oiled grates of my Weber Kettle. It's extremely difficult to get the perfect temperature, the perfect dough, and the perfect slide off the peel. And I'll be the first to admit, Ive screwed up more than Ive made well, but when you hit it exactly right and all 3 things come together just perfectly, it is truly pizza Nirvana. Crispy, chewy, smokey, cheesy, delicious.
That looks great, but holy slow loading picture!

https://imgur.com/PF8sISi

Forgive the shape, my 7 year old stretched that dough

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
More than you ever wanted to know.  I've had his pizza at his shop in the Atlanta airport and I think it is the best I've ever had, anywhere. Yes, in the airport. Better than NY, better than Italy. I have purposefully booked flights through Atlanta on my way home to pick up pizza for lunch/dinner.

@WingnutI haven't read this in ages but he agrees with you not to cook the sauce.

http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm

 

DA RAIDERS

willy t flyers
we use this on the grill.  perfect.  if you want a little more char, just finish the last few minutes, straight on the grates.

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
More than you ever wanted to know.  I've had his pizza at his shop in the Atlanta airport and I think it is the best I've ever had, anywhere. Yes, in the airport. Better than NY, better than Italy. I have purposefully booked flights through Atlanta on my way home to pick up pizza for lunch/dinner.

@WingnutI haven't read this in ages but he agrees with you not to cook the sauce.

http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm
Theres a lot of info in that link ! :o

I dont think theres a right or wrong way to do it, but when I read about not cooking the sauce for neapolitan pizza it just made sense to me, so I figured Id try it, and I loved the results. Im prob gonna do it that way going forward. It saves time, and its tasty. Win win.

 

Wingnut

** Inactive **
This is another great video on making neapolitan pizza from start to finish...one of the the most interesting parts is that on the Margherita pizza he makes, he puts buffalo mozz on the pie AFTER its cooked. I may try this next time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q_9h6VKm9c

 
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stbugs

Footballguy
More than you ever wanted to know.  I've had his pizza at his shop in the Atlanta airport and I think it is the best I've ever had, anywhere. Yes, in the airport. Better than NY, better than Italy. I have purposefully booked flights through Atlanta on my way home to pick up pizza for lunch/dinner.

@WingnutI haven't read this in ages but he agrees with you not to cook the sauce.

http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm
Awesome link. I had the pleasure of growing up in CT and my dad knowing some of the family at Sally’s (tied for 4th on his list) so we ate there all the time. We had reservations so we’d get all kinds of looks as we walked by everyone in line and sat down and got pizza right away if we pre-ordered. People would get pissed. I remember one guy who sat down at a reserved table and got mad so Flo (Sal had passed away years before, his wife) told the servers to ignore him. About an hour later he got up and left because he realized she wasn’t kidding. She was a true character. Any time I’m back there I try to go. I’m not sure if it’s still exactly the same but man when I was in high school and college, I could devour way too much pizza. I’m spoiled pizza wise, so this link could be the start of getting back to trying to make some good pizza again. NC isn’t horrible in some spots but it’s not New Haven.

 

Hastur

Footballguy
Amazing info in this thread.  I've gotten into making pizza during the lockdown, and don't have any real useful tips not already shared above.

 

JaxBill

Footballguy
No stone for me. When I make homemade pizza, I throw it directly on the oiled grates of my Weber Kettle. It's extremely difficult to get the perfect temperature, the perfect dough, and the perfect slide off the peel. And I'll be the first to admit, Ive screwed up more than Ive made well, but when you hit it exactly right and all 3 things come together just perfectly, it is truly pizza Nirvana. Crispy, chewy, smokey, cheesy, delicious.
Do you use the pizza kettle kit so you can slide the peel in or do you take the lid off?

 

E-Z Glider

Footballguy
JaxBill said:
Do you use the pizza kettle kit so you can slide the peel in or do you take the lid off?
Never saw the kettle kit before. :mindblown: My daughter and I actually have a pretty good system down. She yanks the lid, I slide it on, she covers it back up. We're pretty quick at it. Like a pit-crew.  :drive:

 

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